From a Chinese Internment Camp to the U.S., a Former Xinjiang Detainee Makes a Rare EscapeApril 12, 2022
Mr. Turdakun was born in Kizilsu, a mountainous prefecture in Xinjiang bordering Kyrgyzstan where many of the region’s roughly 200,000 ethnic Kyrgyz live. He learned Mandarin in addition to Kyrgyz, studied law in college and worked as a translator for a Chinese export company. He said Chinese authorities detained him in February 2018, accusing him of acting against the country’s interests by marrying a Kyrgyz national and visiting mosques abroad—implying that Mr. Turdakun, a Christian, was a Muslim extremist.
Later, authorities also accused him of illegally overstaying his visa in Kyrgyzstan by 30 days on a previous visit, he said.
In the internment camp, located in Kizilsu, Mr. Turdakun said, he shared a room a little more than 200 square feet—roughly the size of a one-car garage—with two dozen other detainees and was given unknown injections that caused diarrhea, vomiting and a loss of sensation in the limbs.